Will Work for Food or $: A Memoir from the Roadside

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9781590030318: Will Work for Food or $: A Memoir from the Roadside
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When Bruce Moody was almost 60, he got fired. After a lifetime of writing and working contract jobs in-between, he found himself in a dire situation. Unable to find work as he always had before, he faced homelessness. He panicked, fell into a well of horror and shame. In desperation, Moody made a simple sign and began a life on the side of the road.

With neither self-pity nor pride, Bruce Moody shares his life on the roadside, the unexpected elation he feels at his contact with others, the joy he gets by being out of doors, and the surprising generosity he experiences. In recreated diary fashion Will Work for Food or $ reads like a novel, complete with dialogue, character development, and plot. We meet the people he meets and learn some surprising things about asking, giving, receiving.

Will Work for Food or $ offers a timely reminder that the smartest and the strongest don't always win, but winning (and money) might not be the most important thing.

Some of Bruce Moody's rules for himself while on the road:

Ask for work every time you can get the words out.
Take all work offered.
Don't ask what they're paying beforehand.
Run it like a business, record responses and earnings in a journal.
Never leave early.
Never look at money as you take it.

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From Publishers Weekly:

At the age of 60, Moody, a freelance writer (The Decline and Fall of Daphne Finn), actor and temp worker, was let go from his office job. Since he was ineligible for benefits, he found himself unable to pay his rent. Desperation and a chance encounter with a roadside panhandler led him to try his luck sitting by a southbound freeway exit in the San Francisco Bay area, holding up a sign with the words, "Will work for food or $." These unusual recollections of the year he spent supporting himself this way are compelling, despite some pedantic and rambling writing. Among other guidelines he developed, Moody pledged that he would take all work offered, bless passing drivers whether they contributed or not and try to run his begging operation like a business. He kept set hours, designated his earnings for specific expenses and arranged for company in the evenings. Moody was surprised to find that people he had discounted as too poor to give, in particular African-Americans, were generous. He accepted a number of menial jobs, including one where he performed backbreaking work building a retaining wall and then had difficulty getting paid. Moody found that most of the people he encountered were kind and spontaneous with donations of food and money. Drawing on reserves of inner strength buttressed by spiritual musings, Moody also endured the loss of his beloved sister from cancer, movingly recounted here.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review:

". . . positively profound - a genuine journey into the vulnerability of life's greatest fears and the power of humility."
-- Caroline Myss, author of Sacred Contracts

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780786262403: Will Work For Food or $: A Memoir From the Roadside

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ISBN 10:  0786262400 ISBN 13:  9780786262403
Publisher: Thorndike Press, 2004
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